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We Were Soldiers Once ....and Young: Ia Drang - the Battle that Changed the War in Vietnam

Average Rating 4.5
( 17 )
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  • Posted May 31, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    American Courage at its Most Poignant

    I was not even alive during the Vietnam war and the only feelings I gather that were prevalent at the time are old news clips of anti-war protests and movies like "Platoon" and "Full Metal Jacket" that painted the war as disturbing; what war isn't disturbing? "We Were Soldiers Once...and Young" gave me a detailed, realistic account not of the politics of the war but of the essence of war itself.
    Too often we find ourselves so wrapped up in the politics of war that we forget the most important aspect of the discussion which is the valor, courage, and life of our soldiers. The book highlights these redeeming qualities of war time virtues and sets soldiers in the context of a battle with bullets, blood, and brutality. It allows us a glance and a vicarious interaction with the men of the Air Cav as well as the men in the tan uniforms on the other side.
    We are reminded what war is really about, for those of us who have not experienced it and who may not know, it is about the man next to you in battle. It is about the man or the men who have been cut off from the rest of the group whose lives are being held on a very thin and quickly deteriorating string. It is about the guy who operates the artillery pieces five miles away who does not see the carnage or the faces of death but who through his efforts saves countless lives and prevents more carnage and death.
    I fully agree with General H.Norman Schwarzkopf, that this "should be 'must' reading for all Americans, especially those who have been led to believe that war is some kind of Nintendo game." You become absorbed in the death as well as the brotherhood of battle. You learn such virtues as "heroism and sacrifice." If you want to know the raw essence of war, read this book. It is raw, realistic, and unscathed by the body of politics; an instant classic in the genre of military non-fiction and epic.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 13, 2011

    Amazing Story

    Written by the most important man in the battle and a reporter. This book goes great with the movie. Once you read the book, the movie makes much more sense. One of my favorites.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 7, 2013

    Poignant, brutally honest, and heartbreaking recollections of ou

    Poignant, brutally honest, and heartbreaking recollections of our heroes in Vietnam. H
    Help honor these men and their loved ones by reading this book.  

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 2, 2014

    Great Book!!!

    I now understand a little bit of what the Vietnam War means to the soldiers who were there and the families who lived through this war.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 11, 2014

       We Were Soldiers Once¿ And Young narrates the gripping story

       We Were Soldiers Once… And Young narrates the gripping story of the first major battles in the Vietnam War: LZ X-Ray and LZ Albany. This book masterfully recreates every element of both battles; it makes you feel like you were really there. You fly in with every soldier, fight with every soldier, and watch as your brothers in arms die beside you. The book leaves you with an incredible sense of loss at the numerous American soldiers dead before their time and with a strong feeling of thanks for those who continue to fight for the United States of America.
       Landing Zone X-Ray is the main focus of the book, as General (then Colonel) Hal Moore commands the battalion that landed here, the 1st Battalion of the 7th Cavalry. Nothing is left out; the entire harrowing account of the actions at LZ X-Ray is vividly recreated in the words of this book. Every moment of the battle is described, from the initial landing to the loss of Lt. Henry Herrick’s 2nd platoon, Bravo Company to the final policing of the battlefield. In addition to the heroic events that took place at LZ X-Ray, the book also describes the battle at Landing Zone Albany only some miles away where the 2nd Battalion of the 7th Cavalry was nearly destroyed. Unlike X-Ray, Gen. Hal Moore was not present at LZ Albany, but there is no loss of detail or story. The joy, suspense, and grief of the tale at LZ Albany is conveyed masterfully.
       This is not the type of book that spends half of its words setting up the scene; it throws you right into the action. However, this does not mean to say that there is no element of set-up to the story as the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th chapters provide significant background information. Although this background information is more than sufficient to provide background to the story, it was difficult to visualize the structure of the army (Platoon-Company-Battalion-Division) during the first chapters without previously knowing it. Additionally, in order to fully understand the story as well as the people and groups within the battle at X-Ray, you need to know the geography of LZ X-Ray and where each platoon was positioned as well as the dates they were positioned there (don’t worry, there are multiple maps in the front of the book that illustrate these subjects).
       We Were Soldiers Once… And Young led me on an emotional and philosophical rollercoaster. It made me question why the US went to Vietnam and what the results were. It made me laugh, bite my nails, smile, and cry (the last portion of the book describes the aftermath and the reception back in America), and I loved it. While the sometimes purely factual writing style may not appeal to some, the message of heroism, selflessness, loyalty, and sacrifice had me immersed in the story of the battle at Ia Drang from page one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2013

    Great

    Grear

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2011

    best book i ever read- and i read a lot

    on a pace scale from 1-10, 10 being maximum ride, this book is a 15. don't start it unless you have time because it is extreamly hard to put down. you have to know more than the average joe about war to read it though. i recomend reading it while listening to music

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  • Posted April 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Way better than the movie, with Mel Gibson & Barry Pepper

    good book

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    Posted October 27, 2013

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    Posted May 17, 2010

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    Posted October 30, 2008

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